Volleyball Blanks Jacksonville to Stay Perfect in the A-Sun
Tuesday, October 02, 2012 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: Ron Irby
Photo Credit: Ron Irby
Florida Gulf Coast (10-7, 6-0 A-Sun)
JU (3-15, 1-4 A-Sun)
10/2/2012 | Jacksonville, Fla. | Attendance: 315
Florida Gulf Coast252525 -- --
JU182319 -- --
Stats at a GlanceFGCUJU
Hitting Pct..321.158
Total Attacks106101
Statistical LeadersFGCUJU
KillsHOPPER - 11
ROMAN - 10
AssistsMEYER - 20
AcesHOPPER - 2
DigsPINDER - 9
ROMAN - 10
BlocksMESNER - 7

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team won its sixth consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference match on Tuesday night, earning a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-19) decision over Jacksonville at Swisher Gymnasium. The Eagles, who have swept five of their last six opponents, are tied for the best A-Sun start in program history (6-0). FGCU last started conference play 6-0 in 2008.

The Green and Blue, who are now 8-4 all-time against the Dolphins, improved to 10-7 overall (6-0 A-Sun), while JU fell to 3-15 overall (1-4 A-Sun).

Sophomore Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) led the Eagles with 11 kills and seven digs. Sophomore Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) hit a career-high .643 and finished with nine kills and seven blocks. Mesner has recorded seven blocks on three occasions this season (at JU, at Mercer, vs. Memphis). Senior Brittany Muse chipped in with nine kills and three blocks. Juniors Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) and Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS/Houston/Central Florida CC) recorded eight kills and four blocks and six kills and a team-high nine digs, respectively. The setting duo of sophomore Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) and junior Courtney Greenberg (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Juniata College) racked up 37 assists combined.
In the first set, the Eagles jumped out to a 13-6 lead after a Hopper kill. The Dolphins responded with a 7-2 run to cut their deficit to 15-14. After a timeout was called by head coach Dave Nichols, the Eagles took a 19-16 advantage on kills from Hopper and Muse. JU picked up a point on a service error, but committed six errors in the next seven points, as the Green and Blue went on to win the set 25-18.

In the second set, the Dolphins held an early 10-7 lead after back-to-back kills from Gabriela Roman. Following a timeout, the teams traded leads until the Eagles were able to take a 21-19 advantage on a Hopper kill. JU battled to tie the game at 23, but kills from Pinder and Muse gave FGCU a 25-23 win in the set.

The Eagles used an 8-3 run, highlighted by three Holm kills, to jump on JU early in the third set. The Dolphins erased the deficit with an 11-5 spurt to grab control of the game and take a 14-13 lead. The teams tied four more times before Mesner blasted a kill to put FGCU up 22-18. A pair of Jacksonville errors and a Pinder kill helped the Eagles secure the victory.

FGCU will be back in action Saturday afternoon when they head to DeLand, Fla. for a 1 p.m. match with the Hatters of Stetson (3-19, 0-6 A-Sun).